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Galerie Sommerlath

"Parisian Street", Cityscape Oil on Canvas by Robert Farrington

"Parisian Street", Cityscape Oil on Canvas by Robert Farrington

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This Robert Farrington's painting serves as a visual gateway to a distinct period in post-war France, composed with a deep respect for the elements interwoven into the collective memory of Paris. His work adeptly engages with the archetypal settings and concepts that convey the quintessence of this beloved and frequently visited capital.

As the viewer gazes upon this artwork, they are instantly immersed in the ambiance of a food trade street, and especially the familiar historic brasserie “Au Pied de Cochon” - the sole establishment in the painting that still exists nowadays - and its surroundings at the heart of the bustling Halles district. At "6 Rue Coquillère", the act of opening the doors, each adorned with handles that resemble pig's trotters, transports one through a temporal gateway into the quintessential French world of "la cochonnaille"... The renowned "Pied de Cochon" restaurant made its debut in 1947. In its early days, it became the preferred gathering place for the "Forts des Halles" – the diligent laborers who tirelessly transported goods through the pavilions of the old Halles de Paris. From these dedicated workers to the luminaries of the time, this establishment emerged as a symbol of Parisian life. Farrington reconstructs a scene around this restaurant, nourished by her own Parisian experience when he was a young American living in France. An iconic Brigitte Bardot poster graces one of the walls in the lower right part of the painting, offering another vivid symbol of this legendary Paris. The scene includes a manually operated 1950s vehicle, a street sweeper, and a variety of other restaurants and hotels, such as El Greco, Battendier, Tabac des Halles, and many more, all gone today.

What distinguishes this work is the unique perspective of a foreign painter who possesses a deep affection for Paris, having once resided in the city. Decades later – specifically, 30 years later, as the canvas was created in 1980 – he chooses to convey living memories stored in his heart (or in his photographs), creating a visual narrative pulsating with moments from his youth in Paris. Farrington selects Les Halles, aptly referred to as the "Ventre de Paris" during the 1950s, a location of unparalleled centrality. With an intimate understanding of post-war Paris, he captures in this Artwork hotels, signs of various craftsmen, hand-painted signs, a few clients seated at a terrace, and various animated characters along the street, all rendered with meticulous, lifelike precision, introducing bright colors into the signs for example, and some other details, subtly illuminating a painting almost out of a scene from a vintage black-and-white film. This painting unfolds a vivid and immersive story, one into which any observer can project themselves. It photographs a moment of simplicity and carefree post-war elation, a juncture when Paris was undergoing reconstruction while safeguarding its distinctive charm.

Robert Farrington (1924-2011), a student at the Corcoran School of Art in the 1940s, embarked on journeys to Europe and the Far East. Upon his return from Europe, he briefly resided and painted in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos, New Mexico.
In 1997 Mr. Farrington relocated to Venice, California.
Always interested in depicting the character of actual places, he painted most of the street corners and inhabitants of this seaside community in Venice, Topanga Canyon, and the Marina Peninsula. He uses both brush and pallet knife to give texture and depth to his paintings."

PERIOD: Late 20th Century
CONDITION: Excellent
MEASUREMENTS: Height: 38" Width: 38" Depth: 1.25"
MATERIAL: Canvas, Oil
CREATOR: Robert David Farrington

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